Posts Tagged ‘rice’

September 12, 1945

Posted: September 12, 2015 in Uncategorized
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There was another food drop on September 12. We were sure glad to get it, as once you get the taste of good chow, you just don’t have any appetite for soup and rice.

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September 8, 1945

Posted: September 8, 2015 in Uncategorized
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On September 8, fifteen of the men who left the previous day for Tokyo were over taken in Mariako and brought back. They told us that the fellows up there were not eating soup and rice there, and also, that the hospital cases are [sic] getting along just fine.

September 7, 1945

Posted: September 7, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Well, it happened on September 7 when about thirty men took off with bag and baggage, heading for Tokyo. I was just too “soft”, or I would have been with them. Still we had no news as to when we were to leave this area, and we were back on straight soup and rice.

September 3, 1945

Posted: September 3, 2015 in Uncategorized
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We still didn’t have any word as to when we were to move, and we were getting very restless. It was September 3, and we wanted to be on the move. I did trade for four chickens, one rabbit and some Irish spuds which were good eating. The chow the Japs gave out was still rice and soup, but we did get a soup bowl ration of some type of fruit that had come in on the “drop” every night after roll call.

August 22, 1945

Posted: August 22, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Our routine was much the same on August 22, but the Japs had no authority over us. The Army guards all left, but there were some Jap cops protecting us against the Jap civilians. We also had an issue of twenty fags. Nothing new or exciting happened the next day, and se [sic] still had rice, beans and soup. The rice was scarce, but we had plenty of soy beans.

August 17, 1945

Posted: August 17, 2015 in Uncategorized
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On August 17 we still had not been officially told that the war was over, but every man in camp believed that it was. There were no new developments in camp that day except that the chow was improved. They had killed a hog and half of it was cooked in our soup. One-half of hog for 722 men didn’t give us much meat, but the soup sure had a good flavor. The grain was not increased any, but I thought, who cares for rice and barley when we are so near to getting ham and eggs?

On July 16 camp life went on as usual; some men were working in the mines and other on different work details. I was among those still working on the air raid shelter as there had been a lot of damage done from the shelling previously. We tried to “shore up” the inside of the shelter. The Jap guards accompanied us to places where we could salvage some items for this purpose. We picked up old burned tin and raked through the ashes, looking for nails that we could use in our work. We used the sides of trees that had been ripped off from the logs at the saw mill. Anyway, we had one smooth side to nail to.

In camp we were still getting rice and soup, but we on the water detail were making out a little better than we previously had. The bridge across the river had been hit several times from shellings, and a squid cannery had been destroyed by fire near the place we got our water. We were able to hunt out some edible chow at the cannery, although most of it was charred beyond eating. Several of our men were burned or hurt in the shellings, but most of them improved pretty fast. Joe was still kept in the cage during all the shellings, and the Japs just would not release him, though we pleaded with them.

July 12, 1945

Posted: July 12, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Our work detail changed some after we completed the water detail on July 12. The Jap guards called on us to unload a wagon load of rice that had come in for the Jap guards who were over us in this camp. We were to put it in a storeroom. A black man called Joe was on the same detail in camp with me. He was about six feet two inches tall and had a physique about like Joe Louis. I was accustomed to the balck [sic] men in the United States, so Joe’s British accent was very noticeable to me. The sacks that we were unloading were in sixty kilo bags and that was al ot [sic] of weight for me to pick up and carry, as the bags weighed more that [sic] I did. Joe handled them with ease, so he brought the sacks to me, and I was stacking them in the store room. As he handed it to me, I let it slip, and Joe jumped to catch it. In his fast movement, he accidentally hit a Jap guard that was standing in the doorway. The Jap hit him with the butt of his rifle and accused him of hitting him on purpose. Joe grabbed the rifle from the Jap, and by this time three more Japs came up and had Joe penned against the store room with their bayonets. They really worked him over, and then they took him off to the cage, which was a small room that was about five and one-half foot tall, and three feet by four feet wide. The Japs would not let anyone see him ,for he had committed the unpardonable sin when the Japs said he hit a guard. This caused quite a stir when the other work parties came in that afternoon from their duties. This was the first time anyone had been put in the cage since we arrived in this camp.

Still our biggest concern was the lack of food. What food we got here was horrible. I found better food in the swill boxes in the shipyard than they gave us. Still we went through the motion of eating three times a day. The total amount of food we received in one day’s time was the equivalent of three barley or rice balls the size of a tennis ball, and the soup was flavored with egg plant. The condition that it came to us in was the worst part. There were two days that I just could not eat what they brought, and there were several other men justlike [sic] me. The food was rotten. In one ration, I counted fifteen rat droppings. After two days of not eating, I decided if I was going to survive, I would have to eat it. So by separating the rat droppings from the grain, I then ate the grain. We just called the bugs and worms that were in the grain extra protein, but the rat droppings I could not eat.

One day we were going to the warehouse, we saw some Japanese longshoremen unloading a barge of fish meal in twenty kellos boxes. I told Sweatman that I was going to get a box of fish meal, so I managed to steal one and stashed it in the warehouse. It took us four days to smuggle it into camp, however. The Japs used it for fertilizer, but I knew there were lots of vitamins and other food values in it regardless of what it was used for. Fish meal was a pretty good trading item in camp, and it didn’t taste too bad over our grain.

When I say grain, that is what I mean. Rice was so scarce in our diet that when we had a bowl or a ration of it in camp, we always made the distinction by calling it white rice. Most of our diet consisted of rolled barley and a grain that they called korea. It is a grain that looks like maize. Sometimes we had soybeans soaked in with the grain, and then there were times when we had mong beans, which tasted like half-cooked black eyed peas.